King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 3

The calamities about to come upon the land. (1-9) The wickedness of the people. (10-15) The distress of the proud, luxurious women of Zion. (16-26)

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The calamities about to come upon the land

1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.

2 The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,

3 The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.

4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.

6 When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand:

7 In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.

8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.

9 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.

The wickedness of the people

10 Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.

11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.

12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

13 The LORD standeth up to plead, and standeth to judge the people.

14 The LORD will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses.

15 What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

The distress of the proud, luxurious women of Zion

16 Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:

17 Therefore the LORD will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts.

18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,

19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,

20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,

21 The rings, and nose jewels,

22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,

23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.

24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.

25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.

26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Strong. Heb. and Sept. imply, “woman.” H. — Validam. S. Cyp. Test. i. — After the death of Christ, the Jews had none strong. S. Jerom — Strength. Heb. “staff,” or support (Lev. xxvi. 26.) in the dreadful famine which fell on Jerusalem. Lam. iv. 5. 10. Who then shall rely on the power of any man? C. ii. 22. C. — The Jews were depressed at the sieges of their city, and will be so till the end of the world. W.

Ver. 2. Prophet. Ezechiel was taken away under Jechonias. Other prophets were disregarded, and the cunning man, (ariolus, which may be understood in a good or bad sense. C.) every false prophet was silent, when danger threatened.

Ver. 3. Countenance. Sept. “the admired counsellor,” (H.) who came into the king’s presence. — Architect. 4 K. xxiv. 14. C. — Eloquent. Lit. “mystic.” H. — Aquila and Sym. “enchanter.”

Ver. 4. Effeminate. Heb. “babes.” Sept. “scoffers.” Aquila, &c. “changers,” (C.) who give way to unnatural excesses. Rom. i. 27. H. — Some manifest a prudence beyond their years: but the last kings of Juda did not. 2 Par. xxxvi. 1. Eccle. x. 16.

Ver. 5. People. They were divided, whether they should continue to obey Nabuchodonosor, or listen to the Egyptians. Ismael slew Godolias. Jer. xli.

Ver. 6. Garment. They were ready to follow any, who was not quite destitute, like themselves. Jer. xxxix. 10. — Ruin. Fallen people.

Ver. 7. Clothing. The indigent were excluded from dignities, for fear lest they should seek to enrich themselves by unjustifiable means. Ex. xviii. 22. Plut. in Sol. Pliny xvi. 19. C.

Ver. 8. For. The prophet tells what will happen. M. — And their. Sept. “are sinful, disbelieving what regards the Lord. Wherefore now their glory is brought low.” H. — They must have followed a very different Hebrew copy from ours. C.

Ver. 9. Shew, (agnitio.) “Knowledge.” W. — Impudence, &c. C. — Hacurath (H.) occurs no where else. C. — From their countenance we may judge that they are proud, &c. M.

Ver. 10. Well. Jeremias (xxxix. 11.) was treated by the enemy with great respect. Sept. “having said, let us bind the just man, for he is troublesome, (H.) or displeasing (C.) to us. Hence they,” &c. H. Wisd. ii. 12. Many of the Fathers quote it thus. But our version agrees well with the original, as Isaias joins consoling predictions with those which are of a distressing nature. C. — Yet the Sept. seem to have thrown light on the Heb. by supplying an omission from the book of Wisdom. Houbig. — Thus all must be explained of the wicked, whose malice shall be punished. — He shall. S. Jer. and all versions read, “they shall eat the fruit of their doings, or devices.” Fructum adinventionum suarum comedent. H. — All who hear of this must applaud the just God for acting well in their punishment. According to the Sept. Christ and his adversaries are clearly pointed out. S. Jer.

Ver. 12. Women. “Let no women be our senate, as the impious Porphyrius objects.” The scribes and Pharisees sought for lucre and pleasure. The teacher approved by the Church must excite tears and not laughter; he must correct sinners, and pronounce no one blessed. S. Jer. H. — The last kings of Juda were real tyrants, and weak as women. C. — Blessed. Prot. marg. and the text has, “lead thee.”

Ver. 16. Pace. Prot. “and making a tinkling with their feet,” (H.) by means of little rings round their legs. C. Stridore ad se juvenes vocat. S. Jer. ep. xlvii. — The daughters of Sion, denote all the cities and villages which were defaced by the Chaldees, and still more by the Romans, forty years after Christ. S. Jer. W.

Ver. 17. Bald. Like slaves. Deut. xxi. 12. — Hair. Heb. and Sept. “shame.”

Ver. 18. Of shoes. Heb. “gold tissue.” Ps. xliv. 14. This term occurs no where else, and many of these superfluous ornaments are not well known. But we may conclude that they are pernicious to a state, and hateful to God. C. — Decorem…invitatorem libidinis scimus. Tert. cult.

Ver. 24. Stench. The Jews are noted on this account, as if in consequence of this curse, or of their being confined to prisons, &c. Fœtentium Judæorum et tumultuantium sæpe tædio percitus. — M. Aurelius “was often weary of the stinking and seditious Jews.” Marcellin ii.

Ver. 25. Fairest. They shall not be spared. C. — “As they have perished by their beauty, their fairest,” &c. Chal.

Ver. 26. Ground. The posture of captives. Lam. i. 1.